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Black Panther Party and African American Community

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The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale on October 15, 1966, and was dissolved in 1982 due to a crack cocaine epidemic of the African American community.

The Central Intelligence Agency (C. I. A. ) involvement with the smuggling of crack cocaine into poor communities with heavily populated African Americans helped to dissolve the Black Panther Organization. The C. I. A’s involvement illustrates the length to which an individual or group can exercise their first Amendment as well as the United States government’s corruption.

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What and who were the Black Panthers?

The Black Panther Party arose in a time of civil rights, summer of love, the Vietnam War, and the Watts riots. The political party stood for “revolutionary inter-communalism” which consisted of: peace, equality for African Americans, better housing and health care for African Americans, against police brutality towards African Americans, and knowledge of the mass within the African American community by the African American community.

The party spoke out against the government and questioned the government publicly on numerous occasions. The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale the party consisted of African American males when it originally started; shortly after the start African American females started to join the cause. The party grew all over the state from cities such as: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, and Los Angeles…… this caught the attention of many in political people and offices. The creation and spread of the party helped to keep the Federal Bureau’s Investigation (F. B. I) operation “counter intelligence program” (cointelpro) going. What was “counter intelligence program” and how was it related to the Black Panthers? Cointelpro was created by the

F. B. I in August 1956 till 1971 as a covert operation to intervene and disrupt any communist parties within the United States. The operation according to the F. B. I’s database states “in the 1960s cointelpro was expanded to include a number of other domestic groups such as: the Ku Klux Klan, the socialist workers party, and the Black Panther Party. ” The F. B. I was trying to keep what they thought as radical or hate groups under a microscope. The F. B. I database later states “Cointelpro was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons [3]. The operation would and did discredit anything the Black Panther Party would say or do. The operation would wrongfully imprison members of the party due to protesting against the government. According to the West’s Encyclopedia of Law 2005 in 1971 the F. B. I had a break –into their building resulting in the theft of documents pertaining to the operation which caused for the operation to end on April 29, 1971 to cover their tracks. [2] What was John Edgar Hoover’s Role in this ciaos? John Edgar Hoover was the director of the Federal Bureau Investigation (F. B. I) from May 10, 1924 till May 2, 1972 when he died.

He created the Communist Control Act of 1954 which was “aiming to strip the rights, privileges, and immunities attendants upon legal bodies created under the jurisdiction of the law of the United States” according to Hoover. Hoover later created an operation under the act called cointelpro which he then furthered his scope toward the Black Panther Party in mid to late 1960s to early 1970s due to the party gaining so much support. He feared that the Black Panther Party was more than what they said they were; that they were a Black national hate group of communist.

According to West’s Encyclopedia of Law 2005 Hoover would manipulate the Black Panther’s against each other and against the local gangs in the area. Hoover got information from an informant he placed among the Black Panther’s; which resulted in the 1969 riot against Panther’s and police officers killing many panther’s. The F. B. I later acknowledged the wrongful killing and gave restitution to the victims’ families. A federal judge later sanctioned the Bureau for covering up the facts. Hoover’s positioned and Freedom of Information Act (F. O. I. A) came under question in 1970 due to all the allegations against the Bureau. 2] What were J. Edgar Hoover’s fears of the operation? J. Edgar Hoover was terrified that everything that was held secret under his dictatorship would be released to the public. The releasing of such action could lead to his job being taken, possible imprisonment, and the accreditation of the Bureau. He was concerned with his reputation as well as the well being of his family, self, other people involved in the operation under his dictatorship.

Hoover died May 2, 1972 a year after his death the stolen documents of the cointelpro operation were released to N. B. C reporter Carl Stern under the Freedom of Information Act. The comings of the documents lead to numerous of investigation lead by Attorney General William B. Saxbe. In 1975-76 hearings of the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence further investigation. The House lawmakers kept their report confidential while the Senate did not their report released on April 28, 1976 were the Senate stated “that there was a pattern of reckless disregard of activities that threatened our constitutional system” According to West’s Encyclopedia of Law 2005.

These reports lead to limiting the director of the F. B. I’s position to ten years under the president of the United States to insure no one person could run the Bureau without first being checked. [2] The Black Community and the F. B. I Many people who lived within southern Los Angeles and other rural areas were African American who participated with the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party had to be tamed and controlled by the government by any means. The F. B. I smuggled cocaine narcotics through Nicaraguan Contras drug traffickers named Juan Norwin Meneses and Oscar Danilo Blandon due to not receiving aid from the United States.

The narcotic was then distributed into these poor communities which would later be revealed by documents from the F. B. I. The infiltration of cocaine led to the making of crack cocaine by Ricky Donnell Ross better known as “freeway” Ricky Ross which caused numerous of deaths, imprisonment due to having or selling the substance, parent-less children, “crack babies”, and addiction. These consequences of the narcotic led to the downfall of the Black Panther Party and the Black community as a whole due to the narcotic taking over the user’s body and mind.

Los Angeles Times Reports on Crack Cocaine A 2010 article by Los Angeles times discusses the Fair Sentencing Act signed by President Barack Obama which allowed for people caring crack cocaine to be issued the same sentence treatment as someone who get’s arrested for powder cocaine. The article gives a statistic of 80% of African Americans are in jail due to crack cocaine while 70% Latinos and Whites hold the jail sentence for powder cocaine. The author of the article Sandy Banks states “As a reporter, I spent more than 20 years covering South Los Angeles, and the impact of drug addiction was a reality I encountered with painful regularity.

Crack’s reach was made plain in big, public ways: exploding foster care rolls, rising crime, overloaded emergency rooms, and skid row’s growing underclass. ” The crack epidemic started by the assistance of the F. B. I has destroyed African American people, culture, and communities. In the article there is a story told to Banks by a police officer where he states “he had arrested a 9-year-old for stealing food from a liquor store and then found that the boy was trying to feed his three young siblings. Their mom had been out on a drug binge for days. The epidemic made children grow up before their times so they could help raise a household with no parent supervision due to the narcotic. A social worker reported to Banks “she had rescued a 12-year-old girl from a crack house, where she had been traded by her father for a $20 rock. ”

The epidemic has young girls being sold as sex slaves for a “hit” of the narcotic. Crack addiction has proved to be difficult to dislodge. The article indicates Statistics that suggest the epidemic has passed. Crime rates, hospital admissions, foster care rolls have all declined. The crack smokers are getting old, winding down or dying. The open-air drug markets are gone, and the rituals have moved inside. ” The statistics figures were not stated in the article but the decrease of crack cocaine regardless of the numbers is better for everyone. “There are so many triggers for relapse, and there are so few clear paths to redemption for people hurled by addiction to society’s margins. ” said former addict and drug counselor Don Hashima [1]. This article illustrates how the F. B.

I’s involvement still affects the African American people and community today. Washington Association Press Archives In an article from 1986 from the Washington Association Press speaks of the United States being involved or linked to drug trafficking. A three page report was released to the press by Regan’s administration. The report defends any knowledge of official’s involvement in the trafficking. The administration’s report addresses its defense by saying “Some individual Nicaraguan Contras may have engaged in activity with drug traffickers, but there is no evidence hat leaders of the rebels were involved. ” This statement acknowledges that the government did have possible participation in the drug trafficking but no leaders knew as to what was occurring. The report then states that if this were to have taken place it occurred in 1984 and 1985 due to not receiving aid from the United States. The article indicates that the report released by the Regan administration is the White House’s most detailed response to allegations of rebel involvement in drug trafficking during the time period.

The article illustrates how the allegations have “harmed Regan’s efforts to win aid to the rebels due to him denouncing Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government for its alleged role in drug trafficking. ” The report later presents evidence saying “We have evidence of a limited number of incidents in which known drug traffickers have tried to establish connections with Nicaraguan resistance groups. ” Representative Charles W. Stenholm a democrat from Texas states in defense of the report “These attempts for the most part took place during the period when the resistance was receiving no U. S. unding and was particularly hard pressed for financial support. ”

Alleging an individual to believe the U. S knew exactly what was occurring in front of them. The report released by the administration through examination expresses “Individual members of the resistance, including those associated with the forces of Eden Pastora, may have engaged in such activity but it was, insofar as we can determine, without the authorization of resistance leaders. ” The statement shows that there was involvement in drug trafficking and most likely was known and supported due to not receiving funds from the U. S. The report, also said U. S. officials raised the drug issue with Contra leaders and were ”assured in categorical terms that they will not tolerate the involvement of members of their organizations in drug trafficking[5]. ” This means that the organization has penalized the persons accused and will watch closely for any other illegal activity and or cover up any activity better. Video Documentary from Dateline A dateline new video posted on you tube illustrates and examines the C. I. A involvement with drug trafficking as well as “freeway” Rick Ross stand on his role.

The document opens with reporter Jane W. speaking of the C. I. A it then turns to a video clip from a town hall meeting in South Central Los Angles where the former director of the C. I. A John N. faces the public to speak against these accusations of the C. I. A smuggling drugs in their community. A former Los Angeles police of narcotic detective stands up and states to the director “that the agency has dealt drugs throughout the country for a long time. ” Due to the speakers’ creditability (job title) why wouldn’t the public believe he knows what he’s talking about.

The director of the C. I. A responds to him and others with “ If there is evidence that turns up wrong doing those accused will be brought to justice and make them accountable. ” The director seemed to be trying to reassure the audience that there currently is no real evidence but speculation as to their involvement. The document mentions Garry Webb writer of the Mercury news and publisher of the three part articles entitled “dark alliance” which later published in the form of a book. The document states” Garry is to blame for the uprising in curiosity of people with the C. I. A. ” Garry’s articles exposed evidence linking the C. I.

A to the crack cocaine epidemic. Garry explains “he doesn’t believe that the C. I. A intentionally tried to poison the African American community, that they were just looking for money and it did not matter where they got it. ” Either way intentionally or not the C. I. A poisoned the African American community still till this day. The document introduces Webb’s executive editor admits “Webb’s accusations were overly simplified the origins of the crack epidemic and left out important conflicting evidence. ”

The editor removed Webb from the articles due to what can be believed as a safety risk and even a possible lawsuit from the C. I. A if reports weren’t true or accurate then issued a statement discrediting Webb. There were too many risk involved for the paper not to recant Webb’s accusations. The documentary introduces “freeway” Ricky Ross referring to him as the “Wal-Mart of crack,” due to him making millions off of his deals. They interviewed Ross in prison where he was serving a life sentence for cocaine distribution. Ross expresses in the interview how “crack cocaine has taking women from their children and placed fathers in jail leaving kids in a parent-less home. ” Ross acknowledges the severity of crack cocaine and expresses his sympathy to the people he hurt.

Ross later is asked “Honestly how much responsibility do you have for that? ” Ross replies with “A lot,” saying “he played the game to become rich quick. ” Ross was a subject of the C. I. A infiltrating narcotics into poor communities. He is no victim but he did not solely bring and distribute the crack cocaine to the citizens he had help. Dateline confirms with Don Pastora that there was Nicaraguan involvement in the distribution of crack cocaine and he did receive funds from the transactions of trafficking but was not aware of any C. I. A involvement. They interview Dewey C. who is now retired as the C. I. A’s director he exclaims “this is non-sense and a conspiracy bull-shit! ” he then states “there has never been a conspiracy in this country. ” His remarks are clearly the cover-up of the C. I. A’s involvement just as Hoover tried to cover-up the involvement of Black Panther brutality and the first amendment being violated. [4] Conclusion…………. The primary evidence say’s a lot to the involvement of the C. I. A in drug trafficking. The sources express how J. Edgar Hoover manipulated the Black Panther Party, the C. I. A, the United States, and other organizations to his benefit of shutting people off from their first amendment rights.

The sources also show how if the United States or the C. I. A did have involvement the leaders did not know anything about it. The secondary sources shall allow for more evidence to support the claim that the C. I. A had involvement in the down fall of the Black Panther Party and the African American community as a whole.


1. Banks, Sandy. “”The crack epidemic’s toxic legacy”. ” Los Angeles Times, August 07, 2010. http://articles. latimes. com/2010/aug/07/local/la-me-banks-20100807 (accessed November 13, 2012). 2. “Cointelpro. ” West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. Encyclopedia. com. (November 13, 2012). ttp://www. encyclopedia. com/doc/1G2-3437700921. html 3. Federal Bureau Investigation, “F. B. I Vault: COINTELPRO. ” Accessed November 13, 2012. http://vault. fbi. gov/cointel-pro . 4. “How the CIA Helped Create the Crack Epidemic. ” Posted September 07, 2011. Web, http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=SFR3bj6-Ja0&noredirect=1 . 5. “”US concedes contras linked to drugs, but denies leadership involved”. ” Associated press, sec. Washington, April 17, 1986. http://www. apnewsarchive. com/1986/US-Concedes-Contras-Linked-to-Drugs-But-Denies-Leadership-Involved/id-bb7394e75625a363b8c0bf9b0d6cf969 (accessed November 13, 2012).

Cite this Black Panther Party and African American Community

Black Panther Party and African American Community. (2017, Jan 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/black-panther-party-and-african-american-community/

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